tsubo [ Japanese ]


In Japan, ? – 21st centuries , a unit of area in urban areas, 400/121 square meters, approximately 3.3058 square meters¹. The tsubo is numerically equivalent to the bu, a unit used for agricultural land. There were much larger units for agricultural land, such as the cho, equal to 3,000 bu, but the tsubo was the largest land area unit for town lots.

In principle, the tsubo is the size of two tatami laid side by side, each 1 ken long and half a ken wide.

In the 2005 Census, Japan permitted values for floor space to be entered in tsubos, which were considered = 3.3 square meters.²

1. United Nations, 1966.

2. From the official English translation of the census glossary: “The total area of floor space of dwelling includes vestibules, kitchens, corridors, toilets, bathrooms, closets, etc. in addition to dwelling rooms (living rooms, sitting rooms, bedrooms, drawing rooms, study rooms, reception rooms, alter [sic., i.e., altar] rooms, dining rooms, etc.) but rooms used for business, unfloored places of farmhouses, staircases used jointly in apartment houses or flats, etc. are excluded.
“Entries made by unit of ‘tsubo’ are converted to 3.3m² per tsubo.” Retrieved 14 August 2011 from www.stat.go.jp/english/data/kokusei/2000/terms.htm#Area%20of%20Floor%20Space


In Japan, a unit of volume, = 216 cubic shaku (尺), about 6.01 cubic meters.

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